Meat birds

Chic Rustler

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Need your opinions on meat birds. Cornish x is out. I want to hatch my own from the stock I have.


What I got is buff Orpington hens and roo, Rhode island red hens and roo, some barred rock hens and a few mutts.


I have been hatching some black sex links and rir. But rir are kinda small. I'm looking at the buffs and rocks. I once seen a buff x barred rock. It looked like it had a big breast and would make an awesome meal.


What do you guys think I should do with what I have?
 

NH Homesteader

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Buff Orpingtons are supposed to be absolutely delicious dual purpose birds. I don't know about the rest. I would try some orpingtons as well as some orp/barred rocks personally.
 

Mini Horses

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IMO we have to adjust our thinking on "size" compared to those huge ones at the grocery now.

All heritage breeds will grow out slower than the "meat birds" you buy and last 2 months. The trade out is usually the taste & not truly the size. Oh, I'm good with a 5-6# bird. You can always cook 2 of the 5 pounders to get more on the table. ;)The crossed ones you hear in the 8-10 wk kill range do have big breasted features & often health issues.

A lot will have to do with feed, time of year, patience & what you expect. If you want 10#, you may be disappointed with your flock. If you just want a really good chicken, you have BO, RIR, BR....any of which are nice dual birds, if yours are the original "type". ( Many hatcheries have bred out some of the once cherished features .... size, broodiness, etc.) Choose the largest & best featured to cross for eggs to give the optimal chance for success.

I have some Marans and have read that they are very nice meat birds. Don't know. But, I know my roos are quite large, probably 11-12# live. In a while there will be some Marans crosses to be freezer camp boys. I'll report back, LOL. Mine are free range, also.

Beekissed has White Rocks, I believe and has said their meat is very good.
 

Chic Rustler

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well so far I have only gotten long skinny carcasses. That may be because I have only been doing adolescent rooster tho.

The barred rocks and buffs are nice and fat looking.
 

Beekissed

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Out of the birds you have the Barred Rocks will have the most potential to develop heavy breasts and meaty carcasses, while having a fine, densely packed meat fiber. White Plymouth Rocks are the "Rock" part of Cornish Rock cross meat birds and used to be the original broiler birds for commercial use in the US.

Though the Barred Rock have some similarities with the White Rock, they will come in a far second on muscle layering, fineness of meat texture and marbling of fat in the meat fibers that one will find in the White Rocks, but of all the birds you have, they will get you as close as you can get to that.

BOs can develop a large frame, but usually won't have the meat density of the Rocks, so will not yield as much meat. They also eat way more than the Rocks, so they don't have good feed conversion for a meat project.

If I had to rely on meat from the breeds mentioned, I'd cross the BRs with the RIR so I could get good laying from the hens and meatier males from the cross. Since you only have a BO rooster and only want to use what you have, you're limited to crossing what you have with a BO....I'd cross the BRs with it for bigger carcasses and superior meat texture and marbling.
 

Mini Horses

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Handle the birds. Feather fluff can be deceiving. Yes, young roos and less growth = less meat. You will need to pen separately & feed out. Keep them away from the hens, roo X roo fights are enough without adding enticing hens to the game.:rolleyes:
 

frustratedearthmother

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Hmmmm, lots of birds, lots of opinions! I've eaten my share of Barred Rocks and Buff Orpingtons... my buff's won every time. Bigger, heavier meatier... maybe I just had crappy Barreds, lol!
 

Chic Rustler

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Out of the birds you have the Barred Rocks will have the most potential to develop heavy breasts and meaty carcasses, while having a fine, densely packed meat fiber. White Plymouth Rocks are the "Rock" part of Cornish Rock cross meat birds and used to be the original broiler birds for commercial use in the US.

Though the Barred Rock have some similarities with the White Rock, they will come in a far second on muscle layering, fineness of meat texture and marbling of fat in the meat fibers that one will find in the White Rocks, but of all the birds you have, they will get you as close as you can get to that.

BOs can develop a large frame, but usually won't have the meat density of the Rocks, so will not yield as much meat. They also eat way more than the Rocks, so they don't have good feed conversion for a meat project.

If I had to rely on meat from the breeds mentioned, I'd cross the BRs with the RIR so I could get good laying from the hens and meatier males from the cross. Since you only have a BO rooster and only want to use what you have, you're limited to crossing what you have with a BO....I'd cross the BRs with it for bigger carcasses and superior meat texture and marbling.



I have a rir rooster. I have already had broody hens hatch a couple black sex links. They were pullets.


You think the black sex link cockerals would make a good meal?


I have 50 eggs in the bator now. I'm sure there will be a few black sex links. The rir is my alpha
 

Chic Rustler

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Handle the birds. Feather fluff can be deceiving. Yes, young roos and less growth = less meat. You will need to pen separately & feed out. Keep them away from the hens, roo X roo fights are enough without adding enticing hens to the game.:rolleyes:



Ya they are pretty fluffy. Maybe I should weigh them too? I remember that mean old black Marian roo I had. He was huge but dressed out long and lanky
 

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